The Sunday Leader

National parks take a hit

By Ashanthi Warunasuriya


National parks in Sri Lanka have seen a decrease in the number of foreign visitors, officials said.

The Yala National Park and the Horton Plains National Park are among those affected. The Horogolla, Lunugamwehera, Angammedilla, Maduru Oya, Lahugala, Hikkaduwa, and Kalawewa National Parks have also shown a decrease in the number of tourists visiting the park. All these national wildlife parks were once seen as internationally acclaimed locations and were among the most attractive in the Asian region.

Against this backdrop, a decrease in tourist arrivals and a decline in revenue at these national parks show that they have been looked down on by the authorities with chronic lethargy in their administrative capabilities. These national parks can be improved with less effort. However, it seems that national jewels such as these parks have been abandoned by those.

A research conducted by the Jayawardenepura University and several other researchers recently had named the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage as one of the Asia’s most defamed wildlife parks. The orphanage reached this low level as it has been provided with grants in millions of rupees. At the end of September, the orphanage has spent Rs. 27.6 million on its development activities for 2017.  It has been granted Rs. 10.89 million from the Consolidated Budget of the Government and Rs. 16.17 million from the Zoo Development and Welfare Fund.

2 Comments for “National parks take a hit”

  1. How will the animals in the parks be protected when the humans in their own jungle are more wilder.

  2. Mudalige

    In many respects these parks have been neglected for several years.
    1. Some of the rangers in these parks are least educated and trained
    2. Bungalows are inadequately equipped and ill maintained
    3. Moneys have become pests in some of the bungalows
    4. Too many vehicles in Yala
    5. Wasgamuwa and Wilpaththu are largely neglected
    6. The charges for accommodation at these bungalows can and should be increased with properly paid staff.
    7. An eco-friendly atmosphere must be created
    8. The heads of the adjoining villages should be invited as stake holders in any development plan

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